Tonight, I’m going to the HS football game, then locking myself in at Laser Quest with about 45 kids and sponsors for all night laser tag. If I’m not back by Tuesday, please notify the authorities!

Blueprint for Maturity???

I get an e-mail newsletter that goes out to thousands of people each week from Rick Warren of Saddleback. This week included an article entitled Demystify Spiritual Growth. After reading the article, I saw several valid points, but the overall application seems off.

While correctly stating that there is “no magic bullet” that will ensure instant spiritual maturity and acknowledging that “spiritual growth is a gradual process of development”, I think Warren misses with this statement:

We need to take the mystery out of spiritual growth by breaking the components down into practical, everyday habits.

If there is no “magic bullet”, is there then a step by step formula? Can we not have practicality and mystery?

Ephesians 3 speaks to the issue of maturity. There, Paul describes the glorious riches of God strengthening the believer with power through his Spirit in our inner being. He mentions the capacity of God to do immeasurably more than we can dream. He prays that the believers would know the love that is beyond knowledge. Knowing the unknowable…

That just doesn’t sound all that cut-and-dried-practical to me. Don’t get me wrong, there’s far more to Christ following spirituality than incense and candle wax. But I’m just not sure that if we get into the habit of doing A, B, and C – then we’ll become spiritually mature. Maybe we’ll just become pretty habitual.

[Last weekend at the Priority 22 that I blogged about a couple days ago, I sat in on a workshop from Dan Cravatt of NCC that dealt with Spiritual Maturity. We focused on the Ephesians passage and talked about how Maturity is a process, not just a destination where we can one day say we’ve arrived.]

Thoughts from ‘Around’

A couple other bloggers that I read have recently directed my attention to a couple interesting places. You can read about one in today’s entry at Ancient Quest, the group blog that I’m contributing to once a week.

The other is a Relevant Magazine article that Paul pointed out at his blog. It’s an interview with Erwin McManus, who always has challenging things to say. Here’s a quote:

I somehow learned the rhythms and movements of what was going on, and I absorbed it into my being more than I even knew.

He was talking about water-skiing and learning to hear God. What do you think?

Third time’s a…

My computer’s frozen up 3 times this morning trying to post this so this’ll be the brief version.

This weekend, I went with several volunteer leaders to CIY‘s Priority 22 led by Gary Zustiak (from whom I also took a course at seminary).
NCC continues to move closer to relocation to the Omaha site (clearing ground, putting in road, and very importantly… leveling the soccer field). There are some construction pictures on their site.
I recently had an article called What Youth Ministers Really Want published in the Christian Standard. I hope it doesn’t come across with too negative a tone. I didn’t mean it to, but in the editing process, I’m afraid they may have colored it a little more bleakly than I intended.

A Turn in the Journey

Alright… the reason this blog has been mostly silent lately…

I just haven’t been able to post this (until the people who needed to know had already heard) and I didn’t want to just post junk so I was posting ‘something’:

After almost 7 years in youth ministry in Auburn, my family and I are moving to Scottsbluff to become the pastor of student ministries with Westway Christian Church. This has been the most difficult decision I have ever faced, as we’ve wrestled with God and conscience and fear and emotion and guilt and…

As our time here closes, it is my prayer that people realize that I was only a vessel, just as they are, and that nothing has been accomplished in this ministry except what was accomplished by God. He has built this work and will continue to do so. There are a great bunch of people here following Christ and loving students. It has been an honor to be a part of them. They have been family for LuAnn and I and those three awesome kids in the last post. I could have asked for no better people than these, with which to begin my ministry life. Auburn Christian Church, you should know that whatever I become, whatever ministry I am involved in, you have had a huge part in the shaping of my life. I will thank God continually for my time here with you.

Ancient Quest

I just started blogging with a group of people at Ancient Quest. There will be some thought on the Christian journey from several different bloggers. This week is the official launch of the group, so be sure to check in once in a while and see what we’re thinking.

What If?

I found this post on another blog that really struck a chord. I’ve often found myself in similar situations with strangers. I know that I could be (and have been) taken advantage of, maybe even in danger and not known about it. But I always wonder, “What if I don’t help? What if I’m the last straw for this person? What if the roles were reversed?”

I’m glad to see someone else thinks that way too. Check out the post at reflections of me.

You’ve Done it Unto Me…

Seeing the devastation in the wake of the hurricane… I feel so sheltered. So privileged to live in this country where we can take so much for granted. And so obliged to NOT take anything for granted.

As I watch the news, I want to help in some way. There are so many options. Red Cross is taking donations… pretty much everywhere. Our local volunteer firemen have been standing at the main intersection in town taking donations. A church planting group called Stadia which has recently helped to birth a church in New Orleans (Journey Christian Church) is taking donations to help. (They have also produced a short video that can be downloaded from their site and used in your church’s services.) Our church just set up a hurricane relief fund that will be used to funnel relief money to IDES (International Disaster Emergency Service).

I know that throwing money at this is not the end-game solution to this problem. But it is something that we all can do. Now. Find a way to help. Make a sacrifice so that you can help. As we hear news reports of frustration at the slow turning wheels of government, let’s make stories of the Body of Christ swiftly rising up to assist the orphans and widows.

God, let the people who’ve suffered most in this devastation see Your love as Your people help them.